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Effects of Testing and Enactment on Memory
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Learning occurs not only when we encode information but also when we test our memory for this information at a later time. In three empirical studies, I investigated the individual and combined effects of interleaved testing (via repeated rounds of study and test practice) and encoding (via motor enactment) during learning on later cued-recall performance for action phrases. Such materials (e.g., “water the flowers”) contain a verb and a noun and approximate everyday memory that typically revolves around past and future actions. Study I demonstrated that both interleaved testing (vs. study only) and enactment (vs. verbal encoding) individually reduced the forgetting rate over a period of 1 week, but these effects were nonadditive. That is, the direct testing effect on the forgetting rate occurred for verbal, but not for enactive encoding; enactment reduced the forgetting rate for the study-only condition, but not for the study–test condition. A possible explanation of these findings is that both study techniques sufficiently elicit verb–noun relational processing that cannot be increased further by combining them. In Studies II and III, I replicated these testing-effect results and investigated whether they varied as a function of recall type (i.e., noun-cued recall of verbs and verb-cued recall of nouns). For verbal encoding (Study II), the direct testing effect was of similar size for both noun- and verb-cued recall. For enactive encoding, the direct testing effect was lacking irrespective of recall type. In addition, interleaved tests enhanced subsequent re-encoding of action phrases, leading to an accelerated learning. This indirect testing effect was increased for the noun-cued recall of verbs—for both verbal and enactive encoding. A possible explanation is that because nouns are semantically more stable, in that the meaning of nouns changes less over time and across different contexts, they are more recognizable. Hence, associated information (e.g., about the recall status) may be more available to the learner during restudy that, in turn, can initiate more effective re-encoding. The two different testing benefits (i.e., direct and indirect) may, partly, engage different mechanisms, as they were influenced differentially by the manipulations of encoding type and recall type. The findings presented in the thesis provide new knowledge regarding the combined effects of strategies and materials that influence memory.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Psychology, Stockholm University , 2014. , 98 p.
Keyword [en]
testing effect, test-potentiated learning, enactment effect, cued recall, forgetting, episodic memory
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108094ISBN: 978-91-7447-993-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-108094DiVA: diva2:753911
Public defence
2014-11-07, David Magnussonsalen (U31), Frescati Hagväg 8, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1. Epub ahead of print. Paper 2: Manuscript. Paper 3: Manuscript.

Available from: 2014-10-16 Created: 2014-10-09 Last updated: 2014-11-21Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Individual and Combined Effects of Enactment and Testing on Memory for Action Phrases
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Individual and Combined Effects of Enactment and Testing on Memory for Action Phrases
2014 (English)In: Experimental psychology (Göttingen), ISSN 1618-3169, E-ISSN 2190-5142, Vol. 61, no 5, 347-355 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We investigated the individual and combined effects of enactment and testing on memory for action phrases to address whether bothstudy techniques commonly promote item-specific processing. Participants (N = 112) were divided into four groups (n = 28). They eitherexclusively studied 36 action phrases (e.g., ‘‘lift the glass’’) or both studied and cued-recalled them in four trials. During study trials participantsencoded the action phrases either by motorically performing them, or by reading them aloud, and they took final verb-cued recall tests over 18-min and 1-week retention intervals. A testing effect was demonstrated for action phrases, however, only when they were verbally encoded, andnot when they were enacted. Similarly, enactive (relative to verbal) encoding reduced the rate of forgetting, but only when the action phraseswere exclusively studied, and not when they were also tested. These less-than-additive effects of enactment and testing on the rate of forgetting,as well as on long-term retention, support the notion that both study techniques effectively promote item-specific processing that can only bemarginally increased further by combining them.

Keyword
testing effect, enactment effect, verb-cued recall, item-specific processing, action phrases, episodic memory
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108091 (URN)10.1027/1618-3169/a000254 (DOI)000344007100003 ()24503878 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-84908647283 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2014-10-09 Created: 2014-10-09 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
2. Testing Effects on Subsequent Re-Encoding and Forgetting of Action Phrases
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Testing Effects on Subsequent Re-Encoding and Forgetting of Action Phrases
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108092 (URN)
Available from: 2014-10-09 Created: 2014-10-09 Last updated: 2014-10-09
3. Putting Action Memory to the Test: Testing Affects Restudy but not Forgetting of Action Events
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Putting Action Memory to the Test: Testing Affects Restudy but not Forgetting of Action Events
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108093 (URN)
Available from: 2014-10-09 Created: 2014-10-09 Last updated: 2014-10-09

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